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Russell, Douglas advance to GOP runoff in Oklahoma 5th District US House primary


OKLAHOMA CITY — Former state Sen. Steve Russell and Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas will face each other in a runoff election in August for the Republican nomination for central Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District.

Russell and Douglas were the top vote-getters in Tuesday's six-candidate GOP primary election and will face-off again on Aug. 26 because neither received more than 50 percent of the vote. The other candidates were former state Rep. Shane Jett, state Rep. Mike Turner, state Sen. Clark Jolley and the Rev. Harvey Sparks.

With six candidates in the primary race, Douglas said a runoff election was likely.

"We wanted to be in a runoff and we're ready to go. We're going to have a tough race, but we believe we will be successful in the end," she said.

Russell is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who served in the state Senate from 2008 to 2012 after a more than 20-year Army career that culminated with the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He wrote the book, "We Got Him," about his unit's role in the hunt for and capture of Saddam Hussein.

Russell said he was pleased to be in the runoff election.

"It's just incredible," he said. "What a great team of folks. We were seeing a lot of very positive points on the ground all along."

Edmond voter George Chapman, 82, a retired school administrator said he voted for Douglas in the 5th District race.

"She's done a good job in the Corporation Commission and she did a good job as mayor here in Edmond."

James Reynolds, 76, a retired Baptist preacher from Shawnee, said he voted for Steve Russell in the Fifth District race.

"I didn't know that much about him, so it took a little research. I didn't hear him say anything negative about anybody," Reynolds said. "He's a Christian, and he seems to be a good family man. He was very positive."

In the Democratic primary, state Sen. Al McAffrey and retired university professor Tom Guild will meet in a runoff election for the party's nomination for the congressional seat. They outpolled a third candidate for the seat, seniors advocate Leona Leonard, in the primary.

The runoffs will determine whether Russell or Douglas will move on to the general election against either Guild or McAffrey and three independent candidates for the seat being vacated by Republican U.S. Rep. James Lankford, who won the GOP nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat Tuesday.

The Democratic candidates are vying to become the first member of their party to represent the district in 40 years. Conservative Democrat John Jarman represented the district for more than two decades before switching to Republican in 1975. The seat has been in GOP hands since.

The Republican and Democratic nominees will face each other and three independent candidates — Buddy Ray, Tom Boggs and Robert T. Murphy — in the Nov. 4 general election.

First-term U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin won the Republican nomination over a single challenger for eastern Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District. His opponent, Darrel Robertson, was a former professional fisherman who made his first run for political office.

Mullin will face Earl E. Everett, who won the Democratic nomination over Joshua Harris-Till, as well as independent Jon Douthitt in the general election.

In western Oklahoma's 3rd District, 10-term Rep. Frank Lucas won the Republican nomination over two challengers, Robert Hubbard and Timothy Ray Murray. Democrat Frankie Robbins is unopposed for his party's nomination.

In the 4th District, six-term Rep. Tom Cole defeated primary election opponent Anna Flatt for the Republican nomination. Bert Smith won the Democratic nomination over Tae Si. The primary winners will also face independent Dennis B. Johnson in the general election.

Republican Rep. Jim Bridenstine was unopposed for re-election in the 1st District.

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